Is artificial intelligence jeopardizing the jobs of insurance agents?

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By The Network Journal

All the professions are going to be reconfigured by artificial intelligence. The result will be fewer professionals and many of their roles “downgraded.”

Advances in artificial intelligence, also known as cognitive computing, are starting to cause a seismic shift in the professions. The eventual result is the eradication of many positions and the changing – usually lesser – roles for the “survivors” of this transformation.

All the professions such as investment advisors and accountants will be impacted. Life insurance agents will also be severely affected. While this paradigm shift is going to take years and is dependent on technological innovation, coupled with the speed of complementary social change, it is an eventuality.

The ability to source and construct life insurance portfolios, facilitate underwriting, and monitor policies can all be accomplished by the robo-life agent. Such an approach would often prove to be both substantially more efficient, a way to provide superior solutions, and considerably less expensive. It is these critical reasons, the vast majority of life insurance agent of today will, in time, become a relic of a previous generation.

There will be strong and determined opposition to this industry transformation. Certainly, many of today’s life insurance agents will do everything in their power to fight back. They will likely slow down the process, somewhat. Moreover, many of the life insurance carriers will also push back for this evolution of the distribution system will severely and detrimentally impact some of them resulting in consolidation. Nevertheless, advances in cognitive computing will ultimately make this industry transformation a fait accompli.

It is important to note, that even as today’s life insurance agents succumb, robo-life insurance agents will predominantly not directly replace them. People can certainly buy life insurance direct, but that is not having a meaningful effect on the sale of life insurance by agents. As the saying goes: “Life insurance is sold, not bought.” What will likely happen is that other professionals – primarily attorneys and secondarily accountants – will incorporate the services of robo-life insurance agent into their practices. Instead of taking a commission, they will take a dramatically lower fee. The significant cost savings will be passed onto the purchasers. It is also important to keep in mind that the traditional business models of attorneys and accountants will also be upended by artificial intelligence.

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